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10 Reasons Why Reading is Important for Writers

Despite the vast number of people who love reading, it’s often overlooked. If you aspire to be a good writer you need to read. It is an essential part of the writing process, and it improves your writing enormously. In this blog post, I’ve given 10 reasons why reading is important for writers.



Who is this blog post for?  

This post is for anyone who wants to write well. Whether it’s an aspiration to become a bestselling author, or if it’s something as simple as being able to write good exams, this post is suitable for anyone who wants to become a good writer.



10 Reasons Why Reading is Important for Writers (and Everyone Else)



1.) Reading enhances your imagination


Reading fiction content encourages creativity, which brings about new ideas, and it helps to widen your knowledge and understanding of the real world, as well as the fictional world. This allows us to imagine things in a clear setting of our own creation. 


According to the World Literacy Foundation:

“Reading helps us practise imagination by letting the words describe a certain image while the reader manipulates the picture in the mind.”



2.) Reading leads to finding inspiration


Similarly, reading also opens your mind to new concepts and ideas. Whether it’s a character, or the world the story is set in, or the story’s plot line, our brains often find something in a book which we were inspired by, and this is then transferred into our own writing.




3.) Reading expands your thinking


Not only do you allow more imagination to flow by reading, but it also can improve the way you think. It rewires your brain and strengthens the interactions between the left and right brain hemispheres. 


Reading, while relaxing, also keeps the brain active in a very beneficial manner. It requires your mind to consider thoughts given, make connections and inferences, visualise the different scenes and events in the story, and ask questions to work out what has happened, and what will happen.




4.) Reading influences your writing


Influence isn’t always a bad thing, and when it comes to writing, it’s actually encouraged to be influenced by someone else’s work. Reading and immersing yourself in the work of others—particularly those who write well—allows you to understand more about the writing craft, such as syntax, narration style, pacing and speed, grammar, punctuation, and more.




5.) Reading enhances your writing style


Similarly to the previous point, reading also enhances your style of writing. It exposes you to a broad range of different writing styles. No two authors are the same. Reading the work of multiple writers helps you to explore the variety of different writing styles, and thus, allows you to form your own.




6.) Reading increases your vocabulary


What does a writer work with? Words! Vocabulary is so important for writers, because it gives us more tools and word-shaped weapons to utilise in our work. Reading opens you to different writing styles and themes, and an infinite range of new words.


It’s happened to me when I find a word or phrase and think, “I need to use this”. The best place to find these gems…is by reading. Books are FULL of incredible synonyms and phrases!




7.) Reading helps you to understand what a reader wants


As a writer, it’s your job to produce something that appeals to whoever reads it (I believe in fancy terms, this is called your “market”). By reading others’ works, you’ll know what you, as the reader, want from the book, and what you don’t want. As a reader you’ll also see how other writers incorporate the audience’s desires, which in turn can be an excellent help towards your own writing. 




8.) Reading helps you know what to write


The best thing about writing is that you get to create whatever you want. Normally, this is based on what you would read yourself, and what gives you joy in a story. You then take what you like to read, and weave it into your writing for others (and, of course, yourself) to enjoy.




9.) Reading is good for you


As mentioned in the third point, reading is really good for you—specifically, your brain. Reading helps you to empathise, it builds your vocabulary, builds your memory and concentration, and it even reduces stress.




10.) Reading is your world


Can you imagine a watchmaker who doesn’t even wear a watch? Or a vegan butcher? These things don’t make sense. And it’s the same with reading for writers. As a writer, it’s essential that you read, because reading IS your world! The whole point of writing, after all, is to produce something that will be read.





 


written by Christopher J. Watt

Christopher J. Watt author

Christopher J. Watt is a passionate young South African writer now living in Australia. He has co-authored two historical fiction novels in the Epic Story of America series and is currently working on his own projects. When he's not writing, you can find him doing graphic design, drawing animals, film editing, or swimming. Find out more at www.christopherjwattauthor.com.

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2 Comments


Lori Scharf
Lori Scharf
5 days ago

I couldn't agree more... Consuming literature is sooo important, especially for writers. I might add that reading can help with formatting too. I'm always paying attention to the way the writer portrays the words on the page. It's very interesting.

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Yes, definitely! I'm also inspired by considering the design of other novels, and seeing how they're formatted.

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